By Jennifer Morrison, Shelter Coordinator
It’s Friday afternoon and the call has come in from a woman who was beaten by her partner two nights ago. The police came to the home and arrested her partner, but she has just learned he is being released later this afternoon. She is afraid for her,
her children’s safety, and their lives. She desperately needs to find a safe place where he cannot find them.
She calls one of the hotline numbers provided by the police and learns the shelter is full and cannot help her. She calls the second number and again she learns the shelter is full. With rising panic and desperation she calls a third number. They, too, are full but can place her and her children in a hotel for a few nights until the needed shelter beds become available. It’s the SafeNight App that will help fund the hotel nights.
A typical situation often faced by the domestic violence agencies in Dallas County – The beds are full in the shelter, as are the beds in all the other domestic violence shelters in the county. According to TCFV (Texas Council on Family Violence), on average 39% of those seeking Emergency Shelter are denied due to lack of space. Yet, this woman and her children deserve a safe place to go, because everyone deserves a SafeNight. But, funding hotel nights is an expensive endeavor, and it’s something most domestic violence shelters have not been able to fund until now.
Today, participating agencies serving victims of domestic violence can log into their SafeNight App portal and send out a request for funding for the desperately needed hotel nights. SafeNight allows any community member who has downloaded the app and selected an agency to provide immediate funding for this crisis situation, thus allowing the agency to confidently place the family in a safe hotel and remove them for the imminent danger in their home.
Jennifer has spent nearly 20 years in the Domestic Violence space, most of that time as Executive Director of a Dallas Area shelter. She now works with AdvanceNet Labs to help all of our shelters say “yes” to those 39% of victims who were previously told “we can’t help you”.